A storm drenches me but I decide that this will keep me cool on the long ascent to come. The climb starts easy at around 6% (1 in 15) until the forest is reached. After that nothing can describe the slope unless you’ve been there. I was determined to pass the "13km to go" marker as I though it might be bad luck to stop before that point. Just as I had recovered and was setting off again Chris caught me up but as he rested I pulled away again and continued until around "9km to go" with gradient continuing at nearly 1 in 10 before another rest. I now started to see people descending and began to wonder why. Eventually another 3kms, also at nearly 1 in 10, brought me to Chalet Reynard at 1440 metres some 8 hours and 20 minutes after starting (well within the time allowed to reach this point).
Chris, in more poetic mood , wrote:
We had already been hardened up by numerous 3000 foot passes when to our right Ventoux appeared, topped by now with dark clouds, standing solidly against the gale force wind that was now beginning to blow into our faces, on this circular route. Just to get to foot of this 'Thing' was taking energy, so we rode in peloton to save reserves, slip streaming any unsuspecting stranger who would let us... Coming down into the valley (of death) and gently rising up the foothill slopes of Ventoux was ominous and moody, then came the mountain's full screaching rage, from bend one, assaulting our lungs for 3 hours.
You will have to ask him if you want to hear more!